It always comes down to this – which was better and how well was the novel executed. The majority of films being created today are based on books. Words are being translated into film and we are able to restrict our imagination by watching the film before we read the novel – something I don’t favor. So if books and movies were in the boxing ring, who would win? Here are some rounds to help determine:
Round 1: Gone with the Wind
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – Gone with the Wind is my all time favorite story, in book and in film. Since I saw the film before I read the book, I am slightly biased in my interpretation of the characters. Once I had the chance to read this book, I could not imagine better suited actors, setting or screenplay. The edits were necessary and even with them, the film lasts around 4 hours. It was the first film to win 9 Oscars and rightly so. The novel is faithfully depicted in film, which makes this round a tie.
Books: 1 Movies: 1
Round 2: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
As one of those legendary books that combine mythology, romance and history, I had a lot of expectations when I read Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. It is an exceptional piece of text that portrays Greece during the war. The setting is exquisite, the characters are colorful and the storyline is very rich – none of which was portrayed on film. With stars such as Penelope Cruz and Nicholas Cage, this movie is a shockingly bad adaptation that does not reach it’s full potential. In this round, books give movies a run for the money!
Books: 2 Movies: 1
Round 3: Water for Elephants
This was my first endeavor in reading about circuses – a genre that has a number of fantasy and magical realism books in it. Water for Elephants is unlike any book I have read before as it is very easy to read and light, yet it has a very captivating storyline. The details of the Great Depression in America and how circuses suffered is perfect and insightful, making this book an educational experience as well. The film stars Oscar winner Reese Whitherspoon and Twilight heart-throb Robert Pattinson, giving it high credibility for cast. It has some changes to the storyline, however the majority of the books is portrayed exactly as one would have imagined. Again – books and movies finish hand in hand.
Books: 3 Movies: 2
Round 4: Something Borrowed
Can’t complete a full on comparison without including a chick flick made from chick lit. Something Borrowed is a light-hearted book about a very serious matter – friendship and infidelity. The book depicts the story of 2 best friends: Darcy who is engaged to the dashing Dex, and Rachel who is the quiet, smart best friend. Things get complicated when Dex and Rachel begin their affair behind Darcy’s back, however the victim of the book always seems to be Rachel, not Darcy. Interestingly enough, it was the movie that showed the storyline in a much better way as the book seemed to over complicate and drag on the situation for much longer than necessary. Leaving books behind, movies win this round hands down!
Books: 3 Movies: 3
Round 5: Breaking Dawn Part 2
As I recently saw this film, it is only fair to include Breaking Dawn as the tie breaker in this battle. Having read the Twilight books much before the movies came about, I can honestly say that after the second book, I was bored with the love triangle between a warewolf, a human and a vampire. It all became complicated and unnecessarily unrealistic – which is probably why the books never got as much attention as the movies. Breaking Dawn the book is slow and the love sickness of both Edward and Bella is annoying to read, however the film is a completely different story altoegther. I really was surprised at how the books translated into film, taking on its own weird identity – as bizarre and crazy as it was.
Books: 3 Movies: 4
Are Movies really the Winner?
According to my well thought out battle between books and film, the latter has come out a winner. This is a surprise – even to me. I always read the books before I watch the film, and when the film is better than expected it makes the books so much more interesting! Film makers have this difficult task of making words into images, creating fictional characters come to life and portray stories on celluloid. This challenge is often not fulfilled properly, but whenever it is – the result is epic.